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Urban Forest Craft Brewery opens Saturday in Rockford

ROCKFORD (WREX) — Starting tomorrow, Rockford will officially be home to a new brewery in the Forest City.

After years of work and sweat equity to build out the space, owners of Urban Forest announce they'll be open for curbside orders starting Saturday. The brewery is located at 6551 E Riverside Blvd in Rockford.

"We don't have very deep pockets, we couldn't pay people to do it for us so we did it ourselves," says owner Alex Cando.

Cando and co-owner Heath Meyers used salvaged wood for the walls and the tables. Their handywork can be seen on everything from the walls to the floors and even the bar. Sweat equity they say they'll continue to cherish.

"When I look around this place now I see little spots and I remember the labor and work it took to get it that way," says Cando.

Cando admits he and Meyers have a strict attention to detail, but the one thing they couldn't control is this pandemic.

"During a pandemic is not the optimal time to open a business especially one where our business model relies heavily on draft sales, not to-go sales," says Cando. "We're having a full day of filling cans one-by-one by hand by the two of us, but I'm excited to be opening regardless of the circumstances."

It's not the opening they pictured, but one they're adjusting to. For the time being they're offering beer in crowlers or filling customers clean growlers. A process that starts with customers placing and online order on a website that launched today.

"He and I heard this weird chiming going on like, 'What's that?!' It was our POS system accepting orders. I thought it was his computer, he thought it was my phone and it's like 'Shoot! we had 24 orders pop up!'"

You can make an order online today to pick up tomorrow, or place orders tomorrow or Sunday. To make an order, click here. Urban Forest will be open on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Friday from 3 - 7 p.m. , Saturday and Sunday from 12 - 4 p.m.

Mary Sugden

Mary Sugden is the Investigative Reporter at WREX. She joined the team in December 2014 as the evening producer. In 2015 she made the move to evening reporter before joining the 13 Investigates team in May of 2018.

She grew up in Woodstock, Illinois and graduated from Woodstock High School in 2009. Mary graduated with a degree in Journalism and Marketing from Loyola University Chicago in 2013.

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